For Crowe, the time off wasn’t something he planned, but it ultimately paid off.
“I had an injury and that cost me about six months off, and other than that, it was just waiting for the right opportunity (to return),” he said. “I’ve been training for the last year and a half before that fight in the gym, so it was good to show my new gym what I’ve been training for and what I had going for me.
“It was just relief to fight and use new technique, new striking, new conditioning and just a complete different change in me. It was good to see how I’m coming along and where I’m heading now.”
The win raised Crowe’s record to 6-2 and earned him a middleweight title shot against William “Bubba” Bush at this Friday’s Legacy 21 show in Houston, live on AXS TV.
“Against Bubba, I’d tend to stay back and counter-strike considering he’s a wrestler,” said Crowe. “I don’t want to over-commit to anything. It’s something I can never plan out. When the moment’s there, I go.
“I have the reach on him, so I want to stay on the outside and work my jab, work my straight punches, but I’m not going to force anything on him, any kicks or anything that could open up myself (for a takedown).”
Crowe told MMAWeekly.com that the opportunity to win a title in Legacy could be a big step forward in his career and further validate his place amongst the top up-and-coming 185-pound fighters.
“This is a chance to show that I’m as good as anybody else at the weight,” said Crowe. “Opponent-level-wise, I think (Bush is) great. He’s only had one loss, and that was a disqualification, and he was dominating that fight, so this is a chance to show people that I belong with guys like that.
“I’ve definitely upped my training, took more time and more dedication to the sport and tried to improve every aspect of the game. I train harder anybody, I feel. This is definitely one of those things that can take my career to the next level.”